We’re in Year 4 of Destiny 2, and the moon is still haunted. In fact, since the launch of Destiny 2, we’ve seen Mars get swallowed up, brought back original Destiny locations like the Moon and Old Russia, and recently began exploring the frozen wastelands of Europa in Beyond Light.
It seems like after some initial stumbles with the launch of Destiny 2 and the subsequent separation from Activision, the team at Bungie has found their stride. Ever since the launch of Forsaken, Destiny 2 has consistently innovated and adapted. The introduction of new weapons, mods, locations, game modes, and a more focused story has capitalized on the already tight gunplay that the game is known for. It’s now a more cohesive, satisfying, and exploratory experience that is worth going back to again and again.
If you’ve been hesitant to give Destiny 2 a shot, or are a lapsed player who just hated the grind, now is the best time to revisit the Tower. With the launch of a next-gen version, we’ve put together these go-to PC and console settings to help you harness the light of the Traveler and lean into the Darkness, to become truly legendary.
September 2021 Update: Not a whole lot has changed in regards to settings for Destiny 2. Bungie has always been incredibly proficient at creating beautiful, intuitive, and refined games meaning that you don’t have to really change anything. The only major changes we’ve seen recently are a slight update to Anti-Aliasing on PC and the ability to separate a charged and standard melee ability.
The latter has been a long sought-after update that allows you to separate your ability from a standard melee just by deselecting automatic melee in your settings. Then you can decide to map it to the same button as an extended press or choose a different keybind. Other than that, the setting best practices haven’t really changed, but be on the lookout for some major overhauls when The Witch Queen drops in February.
Best Destiny 2 PC Settings
It took a bit longer to make its way to PC, but for many, it was well worth the wait. Destiny 2 is a gorgeous and well-optimized game for PC as long as you have the necessary build to run it. Before diving into specific settings changes, you’ll want to be sure you meet the minimum and even the recommended PC requirements to achieve optimal performance.
- CPU: Intel Core i3, Intel Pentium G4560, or AMD FX-4350
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660, GTX 1050, or AMD Radeon HD 7850
- RAM: 6GB
- Hard Drive Space: 104GB
- Operating System: Windows 7, 8, or 10
- CPU: Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen R5
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, GTX 1060, or AMD R9 390
- RAM: 8GB
- Hard Drive Space: 104GB
- Operating System: Windows 10
Best Destiny 2 Mouse Settings for PC
Let’s take a look at the best baseline to start with for your mouse settings.
DPI: 400 – 800
As with most FPS titles, the sweet spot for most professional Destiny 2 streamers is in the 400-800 range. With the shooting mechanics being so tight and fluid, you can opt for slightly higher DPI to start with and adjust from there.
Polling Rate: 1000Hz
You’ll want to find a polling rate that compliments your DPI and sensitivity settings. Start with 1000Hz, and adjust the setting based on your mouse performance.
Look Sensitivity: 4 – 6
As we said before, Destiny 2 is designed with incredibly solid shooting mechanics at its core, meaning that accuracy can be retained at higher sensitivity settings. Start in this range and push it higher as long as it complements your DPI and accuracy.
ADS Sensitivity Modifier: 1.0
Keep this at 1 to retain the sensitivity settings you set up between your mouse and in-game settings.
Vertical and Horizontal Inversion: Custom
Keep this off unless you’re used to inverted controls.
Aim Smoothing: Off
Acting somewhat like aim assist, keep this off to improve your skillset.
Best Destiny 2 Keybinds for PC
Destiny 2’s control scheme was designed, first and foremost, with controllers in mind. While it does have one of the best controller keybind setups around, it’ll take a bit of work to get there on keyboard and mouse. Here are our go-to Settings.
- Movement: WASD
- Finisher: Mouse Button 5
- Push-To-Talk: T
- Return to Orbit / Abort: O
- Fire: L Mouse Button
- Reload: R
- Auto Melee: Off
- Melee: C
- Charged Melee: V
- Aim Down Sights: R Mouse Button
- Light Attack: L Mouse Button
- Heavy Attack: R Mouse Button
- Block: C
- Jump: Space Bar
- Toggle Sprint: L Shift
- Toggle Crouch: L Ctrl
- Class Ability: E
- Air Move: X
- Interact: V
- Grenade: Q
- Super: F
- Primary Weapon: 1
- Special Weapon: 2
- Heavy Weapon: 3
- Switch Weapon: ~
- Weapon Scroll: Mouse Wheel
Best Destiny 2 Graphics Settings for PC
Bungie is known for creating visually impressive games. Destiny 2 takes that up a notch with gorgeous backdrops, elegant lighting effects, and varied landscapes across each exploitable planet. With Destiny being a less competitive title, there is room to opt for higher settings on visual elements. That said, you’ll absolutely need to meet the minimum PC requirements to make this work.
Window Mode: Full Screen
Maximize your frames per second by opting into full screen. Boundless or windowed provide other optional benefits, but full screen is best for maximizing frames.
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
For buttery smooth gameplay and the highest FPS, opt for this setting. If you have a 4K monitor, you can push the resolution a bit, but you’ll need powerful hardware to make sure it runs effectively.
Keep this setting off to avoid screen tearing and input lag.
Frame Rate Cap (Enabled): Off
Keep this off to allow your PC to push for as many frames as possible.
Framerate Cap: 144+
This will automatically populate based on your monitor and PC. If you can, find a combo that hits at least a max of 144Hz.
Field of View: 103 – 105
Expand the FOV just a bit to gain some additional peripheral views without sacrificing mid-screen clarity. Only drop this lower than 103 if you’re struggling to maintain a stable frame rate.
Screen Bounds: Custom
The best option is to fit your screen, but how you set up your display is entirely up to you.
The default brightness is good enough to keep unless you have a difficult time seeing enemies in darker rooms and caverns. That said, the PVP maps are all well lit shouldn’t need many adjustments.
Advanced Video Settings
Graphics Quality: Custom
Switch this to custom to access more advanced video settings.
While FXAA was the original setting we recommended, the SMAA setting has emerged as the natural next step. It’s basically an advancement of the FXAA algorithm but with a more refined logic that identifies specific patterns and blurs them in a given direction. As a Destiny player, you can expect to gain back 2-3 frames as opposed to .5-1 with FXAA.
Screen Space Ambient Occlusion: Off
This setting provides contact shadows when two in-game assets meet or interact, basically meaning that on a pixel-by-pixel basis, it will look more realistic. With Destiny being such a fast-paced and kinetic game, you won’t notice this being off and will reap some significant framerate benefits.
Texture Anisotropy: 8x
Known as anisotropic filtering in other titles, this setting allows for more realistic textures to appear at complex angles. Opting for the 8x setting will assure that your PC isn’t straining to pop in these textures and that they don’t look muddled.
Texture Quality: Highest
Unless you’re dying for frames, you can go ahead and choose the highest texture quality option.
Shadow Quality: Lowest
This makes shadows look more realistic and is a huge performance drain. Go for the low setting to maintain frames.
Depth of Field: Off
Leaving this setting on adds realistic blurring effects to long-distance assets. Keep this off to maintain visual clarity at any viewing distance and save a few frames.
Environment Detail Distance: High
You can keep this at the highest setting to retain those gorgeous backdrops without sacrificing frames.
Character Detail Distance: Medium – High
This setting increases the detail on character models in both PVP and PVE. High is the best option to distinguish enemy characters from the background, but you can choose medium if you need to save some frames.
Foliage Detail Distance: Low
Keep this setting on low, as it adds unnecessary detail to in-game foliage and can be a major performance drain.
Foliage Shadow Distance: Medium
Similar to the last setting, you’ll want to keep this as low as possible.
Light Shafts: Low – Medium
This adds realistic god rays to the game and can cause a dip in framerate at higher settings. Start with low and only bump up to medium if you have frames to spare.
Motion Blur: Off
Keep this off to maintain clarity when running and aiming downs sites.
Wind Impulse: On
This allows for wind from various in-game impacts to affect foliage. You can keep this one on without any performance dips.
Additional Video Settings
Render Resolution: 100%
Keep this at the maximum setting and only drop to a minimum of 90% if you’re experiencing consistent screen tearing and frame rate drops.
If you have an HDR display, this will automatically turn on.
Chromatic Aberration: Off
Another lighting effect that adds a touch of realism. This one is optional, but we recommend turning it off for a slight boost in overall performance.
Film Grain: Off
This is a cinematic effect that has no real impact on performance but can become a visual distraction.
Best Destiny 2 Console Settings
The original home for Destiny and Destiny 2, you can tell that Bungie designed the title to optimize for 8th-gen consoles. This means that, quite often, the defaults are perfectly fine. That said, there are a few tweaks to make here and there, and a few things to consider when swapping to a PS5 or Xbox Series X/S.
Best Destiny 2 Controller Settings for Console
Back in the summer of 2020, Bungie released an update allowing you to remap keybinds on controllers. This release also brought in a handful of excellent preset controller schemes, though it’s still worth exploring some additional changes.
Your button layout choices should follow your playstyle, so use the following list to kickstart your settings exploration.
- Movement: Right Trigger
- Finisher: Right Trigger (Press)
- Fire: Right Trigger (Press)
- Reload: X (Press)
- Auto Melee: Off
- Melee: RB (Press)
- Charged Melee: RB (Long Press)
- Aim Down Sights: Left Trigger (Long Press)
- Light Attack: RB (Press)
- Heavy Attack: Right Trigger (Press)
- Jump: A (Press)
- Toggle Sprint: Left Trigger (Long Press)
- Alternate Weapon Action: X (Long Press)
- Toggle Crouch: B (Press)
- Class Ability: B (Long Press)
- Interact: X (Long Press)
- Grenade: LB (Press)
- Super: LB + RB (Press)
- Swap to Kinetic or Energy Weapon: Y (Press)
- Swap to Power Weapon: Y (Long Press)
Best Destiny 2 Video Settings for Console (Xbox One & PS4)
Unlike the PC version, the video settings options on 8th-generation consoles are virtually non-existent aside from brightness and simple colorblind settings. That said, Bungie has a history with console games exclusively and understands how to optimize a game to take advantage of current hardware.
It may not be as pretty as on PC, but it will still look fantastic for a multi-platform title.
Best Destiny 2 PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S Video Settings
Destiny 2 received an updated version in late 2020 to take advantage of the improved power of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. This includes native 4k resolution (Series S hits 1080p), 60fps, faster load times, and cross-generation play, to name only a few features. Now, this update hasn’t opened up the console version to be as customizable as PC. However, it does include the following new video settings that you should be aware of.
120Hz Mode (only for Crucible): On
You need to be sure that your screen is capable of hitting this refresh rate first. If it can, turn it on to uncap your frame rate for PvP.
While PC it’s almost always best to shift as close to 105 as possible, it can be far more taxing on your console. Try a few options between 95 and 105 to see what looks best visually without promoting additional stuttering.
Motion Blur: Off
Motion blur can be far more excessive on console if left on. Keep it off to maintain clarity when running and aiming down sights.
Chromatic Aberration: Off
Like motion blur, this can be far more excessive on console, so keep it off.
Film Grain: Off
Keep this off to avoid visual edge distractions.
Best Destiny 2 Audio Settings for PC and Console
The audio settings between PC and console are virtually the same and follow the same basic setup for optimization. Here’s what we recommend to maintain in-game clarity and quickly identify audio cues when in firefights.
- Voice Output Settings: Headset Only
- SFX Volume: 10
- Dialogue/Cinematics Volume: 7
- Music Volume: 0
- Chat Volume: 8
These are pretty simple settings, but by eliminating music and cranking up SFX and Chat to resonate within your headset, you’ll have a better chance at understanding audio and chat cues without distraction.
Putting it to Practice
Destiny 2 is designed around optimization and meant to look and feel incredibly fluid. The console version reflects this with its lack of customization, showing that Bungie is incredibly proud of their setup. They’re also dedicated to making regular balance changes to provide a better experience for the Destiny Community.
The PC version, on the other hand, allows for enough customization to gain back a few frames. But like the console version, the default blend of visual fidelity and performance really showcases the sound design choices that the folks at Bungie made.
While the title wasn’t perfect at launch, it’s now fully in the (very capable) hands of its creators. And with their dedication and willingness to support it, the original (and possibly best) live service title will only continue to improve.